Charioteer Theatre 2012
By Paddy Cunneen
Directed by Laura Pasetti
A boy from a slum, after knowing that his best friend has been stabbed, decides to join a gang.
Due to anger, vengeance, boredom or desperation, he allows violence to get the better of him and commits a crime that has disastrous consequences.
During one of the ‘ outings’ with the gang, he kills a student.
He experiences the thrill of having, for a brief moment, someone else’s life in his hands. However, that moment will leave a mark on his own life and on the lives of the victim’s family forever.
Inspired by Homer’s Iliad and based on the “knife culture”, so widespread in Glasgow city, GANG is a text of contemporary drama that uses the form of greek tragedy to explore this current problem of our times.
Josh Mckenzie & Ray Love
Kenzie, the leader of the gang does not need to be sought. It’s enough to hang out in the suburbs of one of our cities. He is a bully who has learnt to survive in a world of violence, degradation and lovelessness. Pain is transformed into hate; being the leader and the most powerful are the only certainties you can rely on in life.
Mackie: the young boy from a slum tenement, with an alcoholic mother and an absent father. With all the makings of a difficult life ahead filled with foolish choices, his first choice, to join the gang of the slum, will be fatal.
The Policeman: he interprets the boy’s conscience. As a corifero or a messenger, he will lead the audience through the protagonist’s thoughts and fears, will give voice to his sense of guilt and will help him to understand the consequences of his action.
The Mother: she personifies the pain of those who have lost loved ones through violent crime: she forces the protagonist to view reality from the point of view of the killer. The meeting between her and her son’s murderer is one of the most touching moments of the play.
The Gang*: would be represented by the Chorus in Greek tragedy. It will be organized from time to time on stage among the students of the schools who are involved in the project or the students of theatre schools associated to host theatres. The preparatory training, held in two sessions of workshop described later and in collaboration with teachers and the host theatre, culminates in the performance, where the students will have the opportunity to take part in the show, getting to the heart of the performance.
Strong in content and language, the show mirrors faithfully the world of young people nowadays and offers food for thought on the use of violence and its consequencies.
The play is of strong educational value: it allows the audience to experience the power of the rhyme and rhythm contained within the Verse; the text is written in the Iambic Pentametre employed by Shakespeare, combining and contrasting the melody of the verse with the harshness of contemporary language.
The theme is topical, close to today’s youth and provides food for thought.
It offers the opportunity to go on stage with professional actors and perform.
The play is supported by a workshop held in two sessions of 3 hours each, that can take place on either two seperate days or on one day: they will be led by the director of the play before the day of performance, preparing the students who will be the Gang members.
The workshops will take place before the arrival of the Theatre Company, to give teachers and students the possibility to study the text and become more familiar with the themes.
Before the performance the students playing the gang members will be involved in a rehearsal with the Company.
"An extraordinary interpretation. Involving, exciting. Extremely significant contents; essential, with a strong impact on youngsters. Very well done! A must see!"
"One of the best theatre shows we've ever been to is definitely "Gang"."
"...we could feel and share the anger, desperation and sadness of the characters. We really appreciated the show and we would like to recommend it to anyone. We grew up a little bit and learnt something from it."